The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for 1/2 Ct. Round Brilliant Stone for 18K Gold Solitaire Setting

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us. Personal information is always removed. Learn from these posts, or contact us yourself to get free personalized help.

Hi there, what a great site! I’m looking for a diamond for an engagement ring around the $500-$1000 range. (700-1200 including the ring. $1000 would be perfect) Been reading your articles about the 4Cs, so i know to look for what looks nice,and not expensive or better clarity. I’ve been to some jewelry stores and checked out James Allen. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

What shape are you looking for?

So I’m looking for a round diamond, around 0.5 carat or larger. Ideal cut if possible. I’ll be choosing be an 18k white gold ring, most likely a solitaire. I’ve been looking on Jared Allen. I checked out some jewelry stores to get a good idea, and was pretty amazed at the price difference. And their diamonds weren’t even that sparkly, they were mostly SIs. There were some VS2s but much more expensive. I have saved up $1100 for diamond and setting, but am realizing that may not be enough money. What do you think?

I think you should focus on a nice 0.40ct+ diamond. I love this one for you:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-SI1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1510920.asp

It’s a beautiful diamond and leaves you room for a setting within your budget.

What do you think?

That does look good. It’s only an SI1 though, is that okay? Some of the SI1s I saw at the jewelry stores were very dull, was that most likely because of the cut?

Will moving up to a 0.5ct be out of my price range? I can put in another couple hundred dollars.

1) Clarity has nothing to do with ‘brilliance’ (except in rare instances). That was just the cut. If the diamond is eye-clean there is no difference between an SI1 and a VVS1.

2) A decent half carat would cost you about $1500-1600.

I did like the one you sent me, unfortunately it isn’t available anymore.

I think I’ll send you a couple that I find and see what you think. If that is okay with you of course.

I also have a few questions.

-What was the blue in the James Allen picture? Whats the difference if its blue, black or clear in the picture?

-I heard that 18k gold might be too soft and you could lose the diamond due to bending? I thought that made a lot of sense, am I better off with a 14k gold setting?

-Is a four prong setting safer than a tension setting? I was thinking the tension settings would let more light in, but might not be as safe for housing the diamond.

1) The blue is just a reflection of something in the room. It means nothing.,

2) 18kt is usually fine.

3) Technically a 4 prong is better. But any setting from a respectable site will be safe enough. If you are getting insurance, you don’t need to worry.

Hit me with some ideas.

Great!

Thanks again for your help. I spoke with one of my collegues, and they might be contacting you as well with some questions.

So if the blue is just a reflection, what about the clear? I noticed many of the Ideal cuts have the black patterns on them, while some of the lower cuts are clear. What does that mean?

I’ll look at some ideas and let you know. I received your ‘going on vacation message’. Will your partner be gone as well for that time period?

Blue and other colors is just a reflection of something in the room. The black arrows are 20% cut, and 80% contrast/focus of the camera. Most of the time, the vendor photographing the diamonds will focus the shot properly and it will show some arrows. Sometimes however, they are either a) lazy and don’t do it or b) play with the contrast in order to make the inclusions less noticeable (if its a grey twinning wisp, for example). So when I don’t see a clear black/white image, the first there I do is look at the certificate and plot the inclusions myself.

…….

And Ira will not be answering emails while I’m gone.

I hope your vacation was fun and relaxing.

I am still on the hunt, but have saved a little more money.

Would like a 0.5 with an excellent cut. What do you think of this? https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1522133.asp

I really appreciate your help and advise.

I apologize for the delay in responding. We are in the midst of the High Holidays and Ira and myself have not been available every day to answer emails. We are getting to them as quickly as we can.

That diamond is a winner. Great value. Let me know how it looks when it arrives.

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